Austrian GP: Verstappen claims dominant victory, Hamilton P4

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Max Verstappen was simply dominant as he led every lap for the second straight race at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Dutchman had the pace and benefitted from problems for main rival Lewis Hamilton, who could only manage fourth place on another difficult day for the reigning world champion.

Valtteri Bottas took second for Mercedes after capitalising on an early five-second penalty for Lando Norris. The McLaren driver chased the Finn all the way but ultimately had to settle for third.

Race Review

At the start, Verstappen held the lead comfortably from Norris into Turn 1, as Perez held off Hamilton for third.

Esteban Ocon damaged his front-right suspension against Antonio Giovinazzi's Alfa Romeo at Turn 3, requiring a safety car to clear the Alpine.

At the restart, Perez tried again to take second from Norris but went wide into the gravel at Turn 4, dropping the Mexican to 10th.

The McLaren had good pace, with Lando able to keep Hamilton behind in third, although not quite on the pace of Verstappen ahead.

As those who started on the soft tyre pitted, Daniel Ricciardo made a strong start going from 13th to run P5.

After his off, Perez got caught in the DRS train behind the Australian and even lost out to Charles Leclerc on fresher tyres.

Norris' race took a downward turn when Hamilton finally found a way through at Turn 4. At the same time, the stewards give the Briton a five-second penalty for the incident with Perez at the restart.

After Lap 30, the medium tyre starters pitted for the hard compound, with Norris dropping him Bottas into fourth.

Verstappen was able to stop and comfortably resume 13 seconds in the lead ahead of Hamilton.

In the other Red Bull, Checo's day went from bad to worse as two incidents with Leclerc, pushing the Ferrari into the gravel at Turn 4 and Turn 6, earned the Mexican two five-second penalties in the fight for fifth.

At the front, Hamilton was particularly slow on the hard tyre due to damage caused by running over the kerbs.

Both Bottas and Norris overtook the Mercedes within a lap before the Briton stopped again for new tyres to try and limit the pace loss.

Verstappen was so far in front he too could stop again for fresh hard tyres, setting the fastest lap soon after.

In his pursuit of a first point with Wiliams, George Russell found himself in an epic battle for P10 with Fernando Alonso in the closing laps.

Unfortunately, the Spaniard was just too quick in the Alpine as the double world champion passed into Turn 4, with Russell dropping to 11th.

Ahead, Verstappen was imperious as he took the chequered flag by almost 18 seconds from Bottas in second.

Norris was just two seconds back from the Mercedes in third, but it was still a third podium of the year for the 21-year-old.

Hamilton had to settle for fourth. A two-stop strategy for Carlos Sainz saw the Ferrari driver claim sixth from Ricciardo on the penultimate lap, later becoming fifth after Perez's penalties.

The Mexican still came home in P6, just four-tenths ahead of Ricciardo when his 10 seconds was added on.

Leclerc was only eight-tenths behind the McLaren in eighth and Gasly only seven-tenths behind the Ferrari in ninth, with Alonso P10.

Raikkonen's attempt to pass Russell for P11 result in him and Vettel colliding after Turn 4 on the final lap, as the German tried to capitalise on the Finn's slow exit.

That promoted Yuki Tsunoda to P12, as the Japanese had his day ruined by two penalties for crossing the white line on the pit entry.

Lance Stroll was 13th, ahead of Giovinazzi and Nicholas Latifi. Raikkonen and Vettel dropped to 16th and 17th, as the Haas' finished two laps down in 18th and 19th.

Ocon was the only unclassified driver after his Lap 1 clash.

For Max Verstappen though, the future is definitely orange as he delighted his thousands of fans with his fourth win in five races and third in a row.

The Red Bull driver also now holds a 32-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' standings but now faces a trip into enemy territory at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in two weeks time.